Growing up, we used to go sledding at Branstrom Park. Although it was called a “park”, it was more like a Nature Zone. There were miles of singletrack trails (used for Cross- Country meets during season), a bubbling stream, a small pond, ball fields, a huge hill and of best of all, a toboggan run. Most years, sledding on the huge hill was the most fun – lots of jumps, tons of kids to smash into, and pine trees to run into at the bottom. But one year, the toboggan run was epic. The toboggan run was half a cement culvert running down a series of three drops before ending on a long straightaway. Now, many kids would do the toboggan run on a normal year to get away from the crowds on the huge hill, but it wasn’t as fun. It was a really tight run with trees lining the sides of the culvert, so you couldn’t really race with your friends or anything. But one year we had freezing rain the day before a snow day (which is what caused the snow day in the first place) and then about a foot of snow that night. In the morning we woke up to snow covered ice . . . EVERYWHERE – including the toboggan run.
We got to Branstrom later in the day after the toboggan run was broken in and more like a luge or bobsled track. Kids were ending up in the next county. They were blowing through the long straightaway to the nether regions beyond that nobody had ever seen. It was the best sledding day ever. I must have walked ten miles uphill that day, just getting back to the top.
I’m actually missing snow this year . . .